Whether you’re new to beach combing, prospecting, or coin shooting, or you’re a veteran of the sport, it can be difficult deciding which gear to take on your hunt. However, there are two pieces of equipment that are essential whatever your skill level—a pinpointer, and a detector.
Almost always used together, the metal detector will help you identify the general area of what you’re looking for, while the pinpointer will save you time by locating your find once you’ve dug your hole (commonly called a plug). Using both a detector and pinpointer, you increase your chances of finding what you’re looking for, and things you didn’t know you were looking for.
If you’re looking for an entry level detector, we often recommend the Minelab Go Find 66. It’s the perfect price point ($249) for a beginner who doesn’t want to sacrifice quality. It’s one of the lightest metal detectors on the market, weighing in at 2.3 pounds and measures 21.9 inches (collapsed) to 51.4 inches (extended): it’s easily stored by folding the handle, or toted around a variety of landscapes and climates without making your arm ache for days afterwards.
You won’t have to spend time searching for special batteries—it uses 4 AAs—or waiting for it to charge from an outlet, it’s ready to go right out of the box. And it connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth for wireless detecting.
The backlit screen displays four icons that flash to tell you what you’ve found, eliminating wasteful digging. You can even select one of the pre-set modes so you remain on target throughout your hunting. You also have volume and sensitivity controls so you don’t miss anything.
This particular model comes with earbuds, digging tool, smartphone holder, and a handsome carry bag. But, even with all that extra gear, you will want to consider getting a pinpointer before you go out treasure hunting.
While there are many pinpointers on the market, the most popular is the Garret Pro-Pointer AT Waterproof pinpointer. While a detector is an obvious essential, pinpointers more often fly under the radar (pun intended). This pinpointer can be submerged up to 10 feet in water – that’s right, you can dive with this thing. And if it should slip off your wrist, in addition to a bright orange color, it also comes with an alarm system you can ping to help locate it.
And unlike many other pinpointers, this is more accurately thought of as a multitool. It comes with a scraping blade for digging up soil, and an LED flashlight for night time use. That alone can greatly reduce the amount of gear you’re carrying. This takes a 9-volt alkaline battery and comes with an automatic power-off feature to save energy and money.
Check out this instructional video by Garrett that shows the differences between a metal detector and a pinpointer.